Employees from Barrick Pueblo Viejo’s Safety & Health, Corporate Social Responsibility and Capital Projects departments came together in a project to increase road safety for school-age children in the Tocoa and Palo de Cuaba communities in the Dominican Republic.
"This project raises awareness among students, drivers and the general community about the risks pedestrians face on the road," says Hemil Abreu, Project Engineer at Barrick Pueblo Viejo, who took part in the project. "By increasing road safety in areas with a high rate of pedestrian traffic, such as school zones, we’re helping improve the quality of life in the nearby communities."
Road safety is an area of particular importance for the Dominican Republic. A 2015 report by the World Health Organization indicated that the country has one of the highest rates of traffic accidents in the Americas, with 20 per cent of these accidents involving pedestrians. Prior to the project, there were not enough signposts in the two 500-meter roads to indicate these were school zones.
"This has been one of the most inspiring and rewarding projects for us because we feel like we are really contributing to a very important cause, which is protecting the lives of children," says Jose Tronilo, Community Relations Specialist at Pueblo Viejo. "The company is giving us the opportunity to put into practice our own personal commitment to social responsibility."
The team installed vertical signs, like ‘Stop’ and ‘School Zone’ signs, and horizontal signage on the pavement, like stop lines and road divisions. The project is part of Barrick Pueblo Viejo’s program to improve road safety in the communities.